Community Grants 2021-08-19T19:57:47+00:00

Community Grants

Through the generosity of the donors who have established and supported the following funds, the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin provides grants for innovative projects and programs that enhance the vibrancy and livability of our community. Applications are evaluated with consideration to the policies, funding objectives, and mission of the Community Foundation. To begin the process of applying for a grant, follow the steps below.
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• The Community Foundation awards grants through a competitive process.

• Before applying for a grant, we encourage you to talk to Sue Nelson to discuss your organization’s idea.

Contact Sue Nelson
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• To begin the registration and application process, click the button below

• Create an Account

• Choose the appropriate application from the menu

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• Login by clicking the button below

• Choose the appropriate application from the menu

• Contact our Program Officer for further assistance

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Community Enhancement Funds provide grants for projects and programs that have a tangible effect on enriching life in Marathon County. The following checklist, and the guidelines linked below, may help determine if your project or program is eligible for consideration for funding.

  • Does your project or program directly enhance the quality of life in the greater Wausau area or other communities within Marathon County?
  • Are you a charitable 501(c)(3) organization? (not necessary, but preferred)
  • Will your project make a long-term, tangible difference in meeting a specific community need?
  • We do not fund annual funding campaigns, operating expenses or losses, debt retirement, endowments, direct support for individuals, lobbying efforts, or sectarian causes. Does your proposal fall into any of these categories?

Application Deadline: First business day of March, June, September, and December

Grant Range: $1,000 to $100,000 depending on the scope of the project

Notification: By the end of the deadline month the application was submitted

Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their project ideas with the program officer prior to completing an application – especially if this is a first-time application submitted to the Community Foundation.

The Community Arts Grant Fund encourages cooperation and expansion of arts opportunities within our area. Grants are awarded for projects and programs that reinforce the quality and diversity of the arts in north central Wisconsin.

  • The organization applying for funds must be a nonprofit entity that serves Marathon County
  • Project must provide a quality arts or arts-related activity or experience
  • There must be a public component (e.g. concert, exhibition, performance, etc.) to the project
  • The grant request can be for no more than 50% of the total project costs
  • Each organization is allowed to submit one application annually

Application Deadline: April 15th

Grant Range: Requests cannot exceed $5,000

Notification: By the end of May

(Marathon County) Beyond Pencils and Beyond Crayons Grants are available to 4K-12 teachers throughout Marathon County to initiate innovative and creative projects and programs that enhance their curriculum. Through a competitive review process, our selection committee looks for proposals that fill a specific need, are cost-effective, provide educational value, and demonstrate a sense of community.

      • Are you an educator teaching at a school located in Marathon County?
      • Do you have an innovative and creative project to enhance your current curriculum?
      • Is it a project or program that would not generally be funded through the school district budget?
      • Will your project be completed in the 2020-21 school year? We are specifically looking for projects that will:
        • Enrich the educational experience – are educational and fun
        • Motivate and inspire students and educators
        • Demonstrate a sense of community
        • Are cost-effective
        • Fill a specific need

Application Deadline: September 30

Grant Range: Up to $5,000

Notification: By October 31

The Ed & Joyce Creske Family Foundation Fund is a way for the Creske family to continue to give back to the community and the people that have been good to them during their lifetime.

Requests for funding are limited to charitable organizations that serve central Wisconsin – specifically Lincoln, Marathon, and Portage Counties. Preference will be given in the review process to charitable causes that directly affect the community of Mosinee.

Application Deadline: The first business day of May

Notification:  By June 30

If you have any questions during the application process, you can contact Sue Nelson, Program Officer at the Community Foundation office.

Online Application

Creske Foundation Guidelines

Proposals are accepted for specifically identified projects and programs that will benefit nonprofit organizations located in communities formerly served by Mid Wisconsin Bank. The following guidelines are taken into consideration:

  • Applications are accepted from charitable, tax-exempt, organization located in communities where a Mid Wisconsin Bank was previously located (listed on the guidelines below)
  • For specific projects or programs in the areas of: Health and Human Services; Community, Cultural, and Economic Development; Educational and Vocational Programs; or Environmental Enhancement
  • Requests are limited to nonprofit organizations – not individuals
  • We do not fund political or strictly religious purposes
  • Applications are also not accepted from churches, schools, or political groups
  • If the applying organization receives federal or state funding, it is ineligible. The local level of a national or state organization may be considered for funding.
  • Applications will not be accepted from organizations that have received a grant in the past two years.


Application Deadline: October 15

Grant Range: Grants generally do not exceed $1,000

Notification: By the end of November

Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their project ideas with the program officer prior to completing an application – especially if this is a first-time application submitted to the Mid Wisconsin Foundation Legacy Fund.

The Murco Foundation board of director’s reviews grant applications on an annual basis. Applications are considered from nonprofit organizations serving the greater Wausau area and Marathon County. The focus of their funding is for the advancement of education and the arts in our community. See grant guidelines for more information.

Application Deadline: Midnight on September 1

Notification: By October 31st

Applicants can forward questions regarding their proposal to the Murco Foundation representative. Email

The Clyde F. Schlueter Foundation Fund continues to honor the original intent of Mr. Schlueter’s generosity. The advisory board generally makes recommendations for grants to nonprofit organizations for projects that:

  • Serve the greater Wausau area
  • Promote growth in character and service of area youth through physical, social, intellectual, and mental training
  • Provide for civic improvements

Adhering to the original foundation’s intent, the following will generally not be funded from the Clyde F. Schlueter Foundation Fund:

  • School-related athletic programs and projects
  • Endowment funds
  • Operating expenses or debt retirement
  • Projects and programs that are more appropriately funded with public funds or tax revenues

Notification: Within 45 days of application deadline


Established in 2000, the Merrill Area Community Foundation continues to build a solid financial base for the future. The advisory board set a goal of building a fund balance that would grow and develop to meet the current and future needs of the Merrill area. A major step toward that goal was realized in 2007 with the success of a community fundraising campaign spearheaded by a $100,000 challenge grant from Church Mutual Insurance Company. Businesses and individuals responded to that challenge by pledging over $200,000 in matching funds, which took the campaign to $311,000.

With a current fund balance in excess of $500,000, the earnings from the Merrill Area Community Foundation Fund is able to provide the capital needed for the Merrill area to prosper today and on into the future.

A board of local representatives meets quarterly to conduct business and to review any grant requests received within that time period. Applications can be submitted through the CFONCW application website. Grant guidelines can be downloaded by clicking here.

Funds Serving the Merrill Area

Restricted Funds:

  • Merrill Area Community Foundation Fund (2000)
  • Merrill Community Foundation Endowment Fund (2004)
  • Children’s Developmental Disability Fund (2005)
  • City of Merrill Park Endowment Fund (2011)
  • Richard V. Geiger Memorial Fund (2005)
  • Lincoln County 4-H Leaders Association Endowment Fund (2013)
  • Frank Roskos Memorial Fund (2007)

Donor Advised Funds:

  • Dahm Family Fund (2011)
  • Hostvedt Family Fund (2000)
  • Merrill Aware & Active Citizens Fund (2018)
  • Linda Osness Park City Credit Union Fund (2010)
  • Linda Semling Peterson Fund (2012)
  • Arthur & Audrey Taylor Fund (2012)

Project Funds:

  • Lincoln County Partners in Education Fund (2003)
  • River District Development Foundation of Merrill Fund (2011)

Scholarship Funds:

  • Elsie Heckman Memorial Scholarship Fund (2010)
  • Sally Pfund Memorial Sch Fund (2003)
  • Mitchell Metal Products Scholarship/Grants Fund (2003)
  • Sally Pfund Memorial Scholarship Fund (2011)
  • Paul C. Simon Memorial Scholarship Fund (2008)
  • David & Emily Streich Scholarship Fund (2004)
  • Alan C. Vecchio Memorial Fund (2013)
  • Tim Volz “79” Memorial Scholarship Fund (2009)

Merrill Area Community Foundation Board of Directors

The Merrill Area Community Foundation Fund is governed by a volunteer board of directors chosen for their commitment to, and knowledge of, the needs of the community. Members of the board include:

Renea Frederick, President
Jeremy Cordova, VP
Linda Semling Peterson, Sect/Treasurer
Deb Moellendorf
Chris Grunenwalk
Dr. Greg Gill
Mike Grunenwald
Laura Huggins
Kasie Holt
Angela Bailey

(Merrill Area) Beyond Crayons & Computer Grants are available to Pre-K to12th grade teachers throughout the Merrill School District to initiate innovative and creative projects and programs that enhance their curriculum. Through a competitive review process, our selection committee looks for proposals that enrich the educational experience, motivate and inspire students, educators, and the community, fill a specific need, are cost-effective, are educational and fun, and demonstrate a sense of community. Application deadline is 5 p.m. on October 1.

Online Application
Grant Application Guidelines


The A. Ward Ford Memorial Research Committee is accepting grant proposals for direct clinical or basic science research investigating current use or potential new applications of laser or other light based therapy. Applicants must be enrolled in or have completed an MD residency or PhD post-doctoral training at the time of application, and must be a member or applicant for membership in ASLMS at the time of the award. Grants up to $65,000 will be awarded. Application deadline is June 1.

Talk with us today.

Our professional staff is here to help you find a philanthropic solution that’s
right for you and guide you through the process of getting started.

Sue Nelson Program Officer

Sue Nelson
Program Officer